PAQTNKEK MI’KMAW NATION: A local boxing club raised money to help youth boxers, many of whom are Indigenous, go more rounds inside the squared circle.
Dale Bernard, who is providing youth in the area with a safe place to learn the sweet science of boxing, while also gaining necessary life skills in the process, indicated despite being shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his fighters were eager to return to training.
The Paqtnkek Red Tribe Boxing Club, which was established more than two years ago, has members from Antigonish, Paqtnkek, Mulgrave, Port Hawkesbury, Louisdale, and other communities spanning across the Strait area.
In addition to training their younger members for a competitive setting, Bernard suggested they’re taught how to “show up” outside of the ring, as well.
Bernard, who used to be a boxer himself, and now runs the club with Head Coach Thomas Julian, believes it’s absolutely critical to help the youth on-and-off-reserve stay out of trouble; noting the “best part” is that participation is free and the club provides their members with boxing shoes, hand wraps, and mouthpieces.
Despite having a strong group of 30 youth, Bernard wants to expand the diversity among his fighters and hopes more females will become interested and strap on the gloves.
OTTAWA, ONT.: A Canadian Paralympian with local roots was one of 10 people elected to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board, as a member at large, and will continue to drive positive change.
Overall, the IPC Governing Board now includes a record six female board members and a record eight para-athletes and paralympians, including Antigonish County’s Chelsey Gotell.
Gotell, a three-time Paralympian, 12-time Paralympic medallist and a world record holder in swimming, becomes the first former chair of the IPC Athletes’ Council to be elected as one of the Board’s members at large.
She indicated her top priorities are: Paralympic Games evolution; governance reforms; diversity, equity and inclusion targets; a robust classification review; increased athlete representation; and meaningful member engagement.
During the IPC’s General Assembly on Dec. 12, Canadian Paralympic Committee President Marc-André Fabien, highlighted Gotell as being a firmly established and well-respected leader within the Canadian and global paralympic communities.
BEIJING: Antigonish native Alex Grant was named to Canada’s men’s hockey team, when Hockey Canada unveiled their 25-player roster on Jan. 25.
The 33-year-old defenceman’s opportunity to crack Team Canada’s roster, which consisted of amateur players from minor, junior and European leagues, came after the National Hockey League (NHL) decided against its Olympic participation based on regular season being disrupted due to a rise in COVID-19 cases and the subsequent postponement of more than 50 NHL games.
Grant was among eight blue liners selected to dawn the Maple Leaf, and shared a position at the point with a young, talented kid in the 2021 NHL first overall draft pick, Owen Power.
This wasn’t the first time Grant represented Canada internationally, following a Spengler Cup Championship in 2020 with Team Canada.
Growing up in Antigonish, he played for the Antigonish Bulldogs before being drafted in the 2005 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft as the first ever draft pick for the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Following his second season in Saint John, Grant’s name was called by the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round, 118th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Gramt made his NHL debut on Nov. 30, 2013 as a member of the Anaheim Ducks and did something not even superstars Sydney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux or Gordie Howe could do; he scored on the first two shots he ever took.
Grant played a total of nine seasons with six different clubs, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Ottawa, Phoenix, Boston and Minnesota, spending most of his time with their minor league affiliates, but does have a total of seven games under his belt in the NHL.
In Canada’s 5-1 win over Germany on Feb. 10, Eric O’Dell steamrolled Germany’s Marco Nowek, setting up Grant at the point to score Canada’s first goal of the game, and the Olympics.
Grant was back on the scoresheet in Canada’s 5-0 victory over China on Feb. 13 recording an assist on Adam Tambellini’s goal.
ANTIGONISH: Before Peter “Doc” Ryan’s illustrious coaching career that spanned over 40 years, the Aruban-born baller was shattering glass ceilings in the 1970s, as he became one of the first Black players on Canada’s Men’s National Basketball Team.
For 15 years, Ryan was an assistant coach with the StFX men’s basketball team, many of those years beside legendary basketball coach Steve Konchalski, who retired from the university last year. Alongside Konchalski, Ryan spent 12 years as an assistant coach with the Canadian Men’s National Program.
Prior to finding success with the all-time winningest coach in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) history, Ryan was at the helm for 17 years with the StFX X-Women’s team, eight years with the Dalhousie men’s team, and in 1999-2000 was awarded AUS Coach of the Year after an 18-2 record with StFX.
As a standout playmaker, he was a second team All-Canadian in 1976-77 with Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), an AUS First Team All-Star in 1977-78, and AUS Second Team All-Star in 1978-79 with StFX.
After playing there, Ryan returned to Dalhousie to coach and became the first Black head coach in the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU).
After he left Dalhousie, he accepted an offer from Father George Kehoe, who asked him to stay at StFX for two years to see if he’d like it and could move on if he didn’t.
HALIFAX: On the weekend of March 12-13, Marcy MacNeil’s Mount Saint Vincent Mystics took the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association championship in their home gym, shutting out the St. Thomas Tommies in three sets.
MacNeil, was named player of the game in the championship final, registering 15 kills and 14 digs.
Mount Saint Vincent defeated the Mount Allison Mounties in five sets to win the semi-final match, and MacNeil, a second year right side player, came away with 10 kills, two service aces, and nine digs in the hard fought win.
After growing up around volleyball – when her mother and older sister both played, and her mother coached – MacNeil played four years with the SAERC girls volleyball team.
With the championship win, the Mystics earned a spot in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association women’s volleyball national tournament to be held at Holland College in PEI on March 25 to 27.
ANTIGONISH: Strait Area String Challenger Baseball Association Coordinator Dean Marchand has been involved with the program in Antigonish, as well as at St. Andrew Junior School, for the past seven years, and wanted to expand into Port Hawkesbury, and beyond.
Marchand said he was in contact with Port Hawkesbury Deputy Mayor Jason Aucoin, and Strait Area Sting Baseball Association President Shane Richards is a member of the group, as well as Natalie Stevens, with the Strait Area Chapter of Autism Nova Scotia.
Marchand made a virtual presentation to Port Hawkesbury Town Council on May 10, outlining the program, and the group has its charter through Baseball Canada.
Marchand said the program allows players to become part of a team, and provides a variety of options for children of varying abilities. In addition to the obvious health benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, he said this gives participants an opportunity to socialize.
Each volunteer Buddy is able-bodied and assists players, Marchand said, noting they are essential for the program.
With an anticipated start time of mid-June, Marchand said the group was looking for volunteers who want to be a Buddy.
And not just Port Hawkesbury, Marchand added the program is open to players from Richmond and Inverness counties.
PORT HAWKESBURY: Eskasoni Red Tribe Boxing hosted their first ever boxing card outside of an Aboriginal community, something their coach was extremely proud of.
Coach Barry Bernard said the May 14 boxing card saw 11 bouts.
One thing Bernard plans to do differently next time, is to host a cultural show prior to the fights.
With the success from the weekend’s event, Bernard suggested it may turn into an annual thing.
Speaking on his fighters, Xzorian Marshall was one that really stood out to him. Despite coming from hardships, the coach said Marshall’s work ethic, devotion, and commitment are top-notch. In the second round of Marshall’s fight, Bernard told him in the Mi’kmaq language that he was so excited, that he forgot what he was supposed to tell him.
As for how proud he is of his Red Tribe boxers, Bernard added it’s beyond measure.
MABOU: The Dalbrae Dragons capped off an undefeated season by going 4-0 at the Division II Girls School Sport Nova Scotia provincial championship, bringing home the slo-pitch banner.
In the provincial championship game, Dalbrae defeated Tatamagouche 14-9 at Findley Park in Kennetcook on June 4.
Head Coach Lewis MacLellan, a Port Hood resident who has two daughters on the team and has coached many of the girls on his team for years, said having a full season for the first time in almost three years was something the girls needed.
In Dalbrae’s championship bid, they recorded wins over Marine Drive 15-4, Barrington 21-11, and New Germany 20-2.
When asked how they kept their composure during an undefeated season, especially competing at such as a prestigious tournament as provincials, the head coach said the answer was simple; it was an easy team to coach.
Dalbrae opened their tournament with a 13-3 loss by École Secondaire De Par-En-Bas of Tusket, then later in the day were defeated 12-4 to Springhill High School, and rounded out their provincials in a tough 6-3 loss to Hants North.
JAMES RIVER: The Riverside Speedway hosted the kickoff event of their first full season since 2019.
Located in James River, the 1.3-mile asphalt oval is the largest outdoor entertainment venue in eastern Canada. The main events taking place on June 19 were the Pro Stock RJ Poirier Heavy Equipment 150, along with the East Coast Mini Stock Tour, and Maritime League of Legends.
The Pro Stock event wasn’t without multiple crashes and a bit of controversy, as all results from the Pro Stock are currently unofficial and under review by race officials.
Prior to the Pro Stock Race, the East Coast Mini Stock Tour and Maritime League of Legends began the afternoon of racing. Matt Watson won the Mini Stock, with Kody Quinn and Andrew Warren coming in second and third. In the League of Legends, Danny Chisolm placed first, Gage Gilby and Owen Maher followed.
PORT HAWKESBURY: The Cape Breton Eagles acquired Port Hawkesbury defenceman Ryan Hayes from the Acadie-Bathurst Titan; the major junior organization that drafted him in 2021.
Hayes was at his girlfriend’s house on Canada Day, when he received a call from new Titan general manager Jason Clarke, who outlined the move.
Sylvain Couturier, the new GM of the Eagles, drafted Hayes when he held the same position with Acadie-Bathurst.
Couturier noted that his abilities help address what he sees as a missing ingredient for the Eagles.
Along with his selection in the eighth round, 146th overall, by the Titan in 2021, the Miramichi Timberwolves made the rugged defenceman the top pick in the Maritime Hockey League (MHL) draft.
Hayes spent last season with the Cape Breton West Islanders, his second with the organization, of the Nova Scotia U18 Major Hockey League. He tallied three goals and five assists in 21 regular-season games, while also donning the captain’s ‘C.’ In his first CBW campaign, he collected three goals and six points in 29 games.
The younger brother moved up the ranks in the Strait Richmond Pirates minor program before joining the Antigonish-based Novas of the Nova Scotia U15 Major Hockey League. After one season as an affiliate player, Hayes became a regular in the line-up during his second campaign with the program.
A son of Kelly and Collie Hayes, the young athlete talked about the possibility of playing in his backyard in the QMJHL, where family and friends could attend his home games at Centre 200 in Sydney, suggesting that it would be an indication that “all my hard work has paid off.”
PORT HAWKESBURY: A former National Hockey League (NHL) player, who is from Port Hawkesbury and was inducted into the Civic Centre’s Wall of Fame in 2009, was once again honoured by the town he grew up in.
On July 21, the Town of Port Hawkesbury unveiled a banner paying tribute to Aaron Johnson.
Johnson who is a former professional ice hockey defenceman last played under contract with the Sheffield Steelers in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) and currently works as a team relations specialist for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
He was a third-round selection for Columbus, 85th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
In 291 career games in the NHL, Johnson played for the Blue Jackets, New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins, along with playing for several minor league teams during his career.
Across his eight-year career in the NHL, he registered 17 goals and 45 assists totalling 62 points while also tallying 227 penalty minutes.
Johnson made his NHL debut on Dec. 2, 2003, against the Anaheim Ducks and earned his first NHL point with an assist two nights later against the Nashville Predators.
When playing for Calgary, Johnson was sent to Edmonton, along with a draft pick in exchange for Steve Staios. The trade was notable for being the first time the two Battle of Alberta rivals completed a trade with each other in the Flames’ 30-year history.
In 2013-14 he was assigned to the Ranger’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack and was named team captain. The Wolf Pack was the 12th different team Johnson played for in his professional career.
He left the Rangers the following season and agreed to a one-year contract with Ottawa and was assigned to lead and captain their AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.
In 2015, Johnson was fortunate enough to be a member of Team Canada who won gold at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.
He accepted his first job overseas, in June 2016, signing a one-year contract with Adler Mannheim of the German top-tier Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). He left Germany after two years and agreed as a free agent to a two-year deal with the Steelers of the EIHL.
Johnson was due to remain in Sheffield for the 2020-21 season as a player and assistant coach, but the campaign was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
POTLOTEK: On July 20, Waltes registration opened up in Potlotek. In front of the main stage at the Mi’kmaw Summer Games, teams from across Nova Scotia registered until noon. As players gathered within their divisions, teams readied their sacred bowls, some which are over 100 years old, placed blankets on the tables they were competing at and prepared for a game which can end in 10 minutes or take up to 10 hours.
A knockout tournament, winners were decided by the best two out of three. For elders over the age of 54, it enabled the younger generations to watch and learn some tips before they themselves started.
Pam Paul who played in the Masters division, ages 34-54, won her first round but lost out in the second round. Paul says Waltes has been in her family for a long time and she grew up playing it with her grandmother. She says what makes Waltes so appealing at the summer games, is playing it around so many other people.
The game is played with two players sitting opposite each other at a table with a blanket on top. A round bowl is placed on the blanket with 5 discs, flat and decorative on one side and round and plain on the other. Players raise the bowl and knock it down onto the table, flipping the discs and gathering points depending on how they land.
Sugar Poulette was the lead coordinator for the Waltes event, she says it’s all in the wrist and also a bit of luck. Part of her role was ensuring the younger participants knew how to play and that everyone was included. Sometimes just allowing newcomers to watch and learn this year so they can partake next year.
She says she sometimes goes to schools to show classes the proper way to play this ancient game and is willing to teach anyone who is interested to learn to play.
ARICHAT: A local body builder qualified for nationals.
On July 16 in Moncton Trina Samson of Arichat finished second out of nine competitors in the Women’s Bikini Over 45 division at the New Brunswick Naturals Body Building Competition, allowing her to qualify for nationals in Toronto in 2023.
After doing well in the wellness division in what was her first year of competition last year, Samson finished fourth in the over 35 category this year.
Along with access to local facilities like Body N’ Soul in Port Hawkesbury and the Isle Madame iFit Centre in Arichat, Samson changed coaches to Devin Trenholm and Sarah Richie.
With public health restrictions eased, Samson said there were 87 competitors this year, compared to 56 last year at the Atlantic Canadian event. She plans to return to New Brunswick Naturals next year.
To prepare for this year’s competition, Samson started working out at the beginning of January. Then 20 weeks before the competition, she did daily preparation that entailed strength and cardio training.
SYDNEY: In a stellar career highlighted by countless championship accomplishments, Leon Carter added to his impressive resume.
The multi-sport athlete, a native of River Bourgeois, captured his first Nova Scotia Golf Association (NSGA) Mid-Master Men’s Amateur crown with a six-stroke victory at the Lingan Golf and Country Club in Sydney.
Carter, who plays out of the Dundee Resort and Golf Club, fashioned a three-round score of 208 (68-70-70) to finish at 8-under-par.
That score not only secured his mid-master crown, but also a third-place finish in the mid-amateur side of the tournament, which Brett McKinnon of Glace Bay won, for the second consecutive year, with an 18-under-par performance.
It would have been a third mid-amateur championship for Carter, who put together back-to-back victories in 2010 and 2011.
An inductee into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 2016, he made his initial mark as a fleet-footed outfielder and lead-off hitter, which included stints with Team Canada’s senior and junior baseball squads; a six-year stint donning his country’s colours, highlighted by an appearance in the World Junior Championships in Cuba in 1991.
After hanging up his baseball cleats, Carter turned his attention to the golf course, where he made his first swings at the provincial level at the 1997 championships. Only two years’ later, the lefty with the eye-popping power game, garnered second spot in the annual NSGA event in 2019. That effort catapulted Carter to his first of four provincial crowns (2000, 2002, 2004 and 2007) in eight years, one year later.
On the national stage, he represented his home province on seven Willingdon Cup teams, playing a key role in Nova Scotia’s first Canadian amateur championship victory in 2001.
In 2013, a couple of years after winning his aforementioned consecutive provincial mid-amateur titles, Carter decided to step away from competitive golf.
PETIT DE GRAT: A team of local residents and those formerly from the area won the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation tournament in the 57 and over division.
In their first game of the tournament on July 30 in Halifax, the Red Caps beat Dufferin-Simcoe, Ontario 3-2 in what manager Richard Boudreau described as a “real good game.”
In their second game, Petit de Grat tied Hamilton, Ontario 3-3.
Boudreau said they traveled with 13 players on the roster but after one player dislocated his shoulder in the second game, that number went down to the minimum of 12 players.
The Red Caps lost 2-0 to Oakville in their third match, entering the play-off round with a 1-1-1 record, good for third place.
In the semi-final, Petit de Grat beat the second place Nova Scotia Monarchs 9-7.
The Red Caps then faced Port Alberni from British Columbia in the championship final and beat them 5-4.
In 2006, the Red Caps took the over-35 division on Yarmouth.
BOSTON, MASS.: In a more than 15 year professional career, one in which he was consistently a fan-favourite wherever he laced up his blades, Dennis Bonvie established a reputation as the ultimate team player, one who was willing to do anything to win, including dropping his gloves to fight the toughest customers in hockey.
The Antigonish native has brought that same tenacity to the second act of his hockey story, an off-the-ice one that started as a pro scout with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009.
Last summer, the Boston Bruins, who Bonvie has worked for since 2015, made the former Antigonish Bulldog their director of pro scouting.
Bonvie was brought on board with his second Original Six organization by Boston general manager Don Sweeney; the pair were teammates during Bonvie’s one season with the Bruins.
With his new position, he will be responsible for, amongst other things, scheduling where scouting staff members need to be and ensuring that “we are watching the right players.”
HEATHERTON: The Heatherton Warriors are AGR Champions after narrowly defeating the Pomquet Acadians 5-4 on Aug. 21 in the league final on their home field.
The winning pitcher was Adam Anderson, who recorded five strikeouts, the losing pitcher was Richie Connors, who registered three strikeouts.
Heatherton’s top hitters were Jackie MacDonald who hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game 4-4. Burton Chisholm Jr. hit a single and then a walk-off homerun to win the championship in the bottom of the seventh inning.
In the semi final, Heatherton dethroned last year’s champions, the Carmie MacInnis St. Josephs Chiefs by a score of 3-2.
Paul Purcell was victorious on the mound registering three strikeouts while his counterpart, Jaron Kennedy recoded six strikeouts in the losing effort.
The Joe Andy Memorial Award for MVP in the playoffs was awarded to Heatherton’s pitcher Anderson, while the Darrell MacPerson Memorial Award for sportsmanship an athletic ability in the playoffs was awarded to Pomquet’s Connors.
ANTIGONISH: It was a busy summer for Rhyah Stewart.
The goaltender, was in training camp with the Cape Breton West (CBW) Islanders of the Nova Scotia U18 Hockey League, was coming off a memorable opportunity at the national team level.
Stewart, one of only three Bluenose players to participate, was one of the six goalies from across the country who received an invitation to the Team Canada U18 summer selection camp in Calgary.
She was one of the youngest skaters on the camp roster.
Describing it as a “tremendous development opportunity,” Stewart added, “I learned a lot – both on and off the ice.” She agreed that having the opportunity to play and train with top players from across Canada in her age group will benefit her immensely.
Although she “tried a lot of sports,” she noted that it wasn’t long before she knew that hockey was her favorite. As for decision to be a goaltender – after participating in a couple of camps focused on the position with the Antigonish Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) – Stewart decided that she wanted to play between the pipes.
Stewart, who played last season with the Cabot Highlanders of the Nova Scotia U16 ‘AAA’ Hockey League, is following in the footsteps of her older brothers – Zac and Leyton – when it comes to developing a passion for the sport. The youngest Stewart sibling – Meryk – also laces up the blades. Their father, Dave, an assistant coach with the StFX X-Men and former student-athlete with the White and Blue, also played professionally in the UHL and ECHL.
PETIT DE GRAT: The Petit de Grat Red Caps had their backs against the wall in the Richmond Amateur Baseball Association (RABA) playoff tournament but pulled out four straight wins to claim their third consecutive title.
The wins came on the strength of the Red Caps offense which scored 61 runs in those four games.
Petit de Grat lost their first game of the playoffs 7-6 to the Little Anse Hawks in a Friday night thriller. The Red Caps improved to 1-1 in the playoffs beating the St. Peter’s Royals 13-7 on Saturday. Petit de Grat got their revenge on Little Anse later in the day on Aug. 27 beating them 18-4.
Meanwhile, Port Hawkesbury won their first game of the tournament 13-1 over St. Peter’s on Friday night, then beat Little Anse 6-1 the next day in a game where the score was tied 1-1 into the sixth inning before the Port Hawkesbury bats got going.
With a 2-0 record, the Bucs only had to win once on Sunday to take their first ever RABA championship but lost the first game 17-4 in five innings (thanks to the 10-run mercy rule), then 13-6 in the second.
In the first game on Aug. 28, Red Cap Bryden Boudreau hit a three-run shot in the fourth inning, and catcher Warren Olsen had three hits, three RBI, and two runs scored.
In the second game, Olsen hit a grand slam in the fourth inning, while Maurice Boudreau knocked a solo homerun, as well as a double, while scoring four times, and he recorded an RBI and a stolen base. Callum Boudreau hit a three-run homerun, added a single, scored twice, and had four RBI.
PORT HOOD: The Port Hood Blue Jays won the 11U Tier 5 Provincial Baseball Championship beating Inverness 11-0 in the final game on Aug. 28 in New Waterford.
Port Hood Coach Ardell Hawley said his team finished in third place in the three-game round robin portion of the tournament that involved four teams.
The Blue Jays beat Sydney Mines 16-7 in the semi-finals.
Port Hood started off the tournament with an 8-7 win over Inverness, followed by a 15-3 win against New Waterford, then ended preliminary play with an 8-7 loss to Sydney Mines.
PORT HAWKESBURY: The Strait Area Sting refused to give up, and as a result, are provincial champions.
On Sept. 4, the Sting came from behind to defeat Antigonish 13-12 in the 13U A Tier 2 championship game in Stewiacke.
The Sting took their semi-final game 9-8 over St. Andrews.
The Sting earned their way to the final game after posting an undefeated record in preliminary play. The Strait beat Oxford in their first game of the tournament 5-4, then defeated Stellarton 8-7, and downed the host Stewiacke side 17-11.
PORT HAWKESBURY: A local youth female hockey team was named the hosts of the under-13 AAA Atlantic Championship.
The first-ever under-13 Female AAA Atlantics will be held at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre from March 30 to April 2, 2023.
Jason Aucoin, Port Hawkesbury’s deputy mayor, told The Reporter it’s exciting news and he thinks that this will allow for the development of female hockey in the local area.
Putting some of the top female hockey players from the Atlantic provinces on display is not only exciting for Port Hawkesbury but also Membertou, who will be hosting the U18 AAA Atlantic Championship.
According to a release from Hockey Nova Scotia, these tournaments will see the top players and teams in their respective age divisions from across the region vie for Atlantic titles. The events will feature the provincial championship-winning teams from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfound and Labrador, and Nova Scotia, as well as the host clubs.
ANTIGONISH: StFX University welcomed the Germany Hockey Federation and the Austrian Hockey Federation as each team prepared for the 2023 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Hockey Championship.
StFX University’s Vice President, Finance and Administration Monica Foster said it’s an exciting time for the university as they were announced as hosts for a pre-competition camp and an exhibition game at the Charles V. Keating Centre.
Mayor Laurie Boucher suggested it’s exciting that the Town of Antigonish was chosen to host a pre-tournament World Junior game as Antigonish has a passionate hockey fan base with a strong minor hockey program.
Germany arrived in Antigonish on Dec. 13 and their training camp ran until Dec. 22, while Austria arrived in Antigonish on Dec. 15 and their camp lasted until Dec. 23. On Dec. 20, both teams squared off in a pre-tournament matchup.
Not only did the teams stay in Antigonish, they used the ice surfaces at StFX, and also be provided with training facilities as they prepare for the annual tournament that starts on Boxing Day that features some of the top junior hockey players in the world.
All practices were open to the public and a detailed schedule was available.
On Dec. 5, StFX University announced that three members of their X-Men hockey team was selected to the U SPORTS all-star team that faced-off against Team Canada as a part of their preparation for the 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship.